40 minutes from Teotihuacán is one of the most imposing aqueducts in our country. The Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque is the largest hydraulic work that was carried out in New Spain.
Since 2016, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has inscribed it on the list of World Heritage Sites.
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Relic from the 16th century
This impressive 48-kilometer-long work was built in the 16th century with the aim of bringing water to the Zempoala and Otumba communities. The work was promoted and designed by Father Francisco de Tembleque. From whom it got its name.
Its construction took 17 years (from 1554 to 1571), and to make it possible, more than 40 indigenous communities participated. The main power source of this hydraulic piece are the seven water holes at the foot of the Tecajete hill. At the time, the aqueduct fed sources, channels and reservoirs.
The hydraulic complex that connects the states of Mexico and Hidalgo, brings together the European and Mesoamerican construction styles. From the Old World, knowledge of hydraulic systems was used, while local cultures contributed with the use of adobe falsework.
Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque and its monumental arcade
The most popular area of the aqueduct is its monumental arcade, consisting of six arches with 138 arches and 68 curves. The most impressive arches reach 39 meters in height and the most representative one joins the Barranco de Tepeyahualco and the Río Papalote.
It is worth mentioning that the arches that are preserved today, do not represent even 10 percent of the original structure. 95% percent of the aqueduct structure is underground.
However, it has six outdoor sections at the Hacienda de Tecajete, the Hacienda de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe-Arcos, Acelotla, Santiago Tepeyahualco and the arches of San Pedro and San Marcos in Otumba.
Currently you can visit the Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque on your own, or join a tour or a bike ride.
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